I’m often asked about different art supplies… and it’s true… I do have a BIT of a collection 😉 (I remember an old friend and student, Ros, saying that coming to my studio was like visiting an art shop but being allowed to try everything 😅 ).
What I’d like to do is CHALLENGE YOU TO GET OUT THE ART SUPPLIES YOU HAVE – or at least one box of them if you have a lot 😉 – and MAKE THIS THE YEAR THAT YOU USE THEM – not necessarily to produce art for your walls, or to even show anyone.
To use them, either love them or loathe them, get to know what they can do.
DON’T KNOW WHAT TO PAINT? Start with a colour chart – you’ll impress yourself. Seriously.
WHAT’S NEXT? Drop by here and see what I’ve been drawing or painting – then do that. Simple. Decision made.
Because you won’t get any better at painting or drawing without actually painting or drawing. And each time you paint or draw there is learning to be had. And QUANTITY will lead to QUALITY.
These are the supplies I have on my desk at the moment – different brands of acrylics, mainly, and they all act slightly differently. Some are more transparent, some are more expensive, some are thicker others more fluid – by using them I build my ‘library of knowledge’ about them.
So let’s do it, huh?
PAINT IT AGAIN. That’s my message for today. The more you look at a subject, and then paint or draw it, the more you will SEE.
Here’s a photo of Cape Tribulation that my friend, Larah, has taken – I painted it (small) as part of my #shacards series and then again (A4 size) as part of #shinyhappylandscapes last year.
Mind you, it’s a lovely reference photo, and as soon as I saw it I asked Larah’s permission to paint it.
Both of these paintings are in acrylic, but before too long I’ll also have a go at drawing it, and probably watercolouring it… and you might even see it on a big canvas after that.
WHY DO THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER? Because there’s something to learn every time… about colour, about materials, about shape, about tone… and you’ll SEE more every time too.
CAN YOU SEE THE PEOPLE SHADOWS IN THE FOREGROUND? I didn’t even notice them when I started the first painting. When I was using a fan brush (a tool I hadn’t used for ages) to do the shore, I noticed the shadows, and now they’re my favourite bit!
Also think about the Masters. Degas did ballet dancers. Van Gogh did sunflowers. Monet did waterlilies. In more recent times, Warhol did soup cans; George Rodrigue did the blue dog, Ken Done does Sydney Harbour.
What are you going to do? Don’t make it difficult – Danny Gregory did/does toast, you might draw your own hand… your coffee cup/s, your pot plant.
Use the same materials or different materials, do it the same size or different sizes… if this is all too many decisions, just get a sketch book (or exercise book) and FILL IT!
I’d love to hear about how you feel when it’s full (and it’s totally ok if you feel like it’s time for a new subject 😉 but I’m pretty sure you’ll thank me).
And here endeth the Art Sermon 😂 😂 😂 !
See you in my Virtual Studio!
On New Years Day 2017 I started deliberately trying to sketch every day. I decided on ‘everyday-ish’ and the first sketch was not about much – an empty chocolate nuts bottle and a pair of scissors or something… sketched with coloured biros. As much as I’ve always been a ‘draw-er’, that was the year my confidence grew. By drawing lots and lots of things I became confident enough to try sketching anything, and I still try and sketch every day.
In 2018, after teaching adults face to face for almost 7 years, it became so evident to me that the people who had the most confidence to paint with me, who started as beginners, were the ones who painted often. And that was the idea that sparked the Paint Along of the Month Club, launched in January 2019.
The idea of painting every month means that the learning with each painting has time to sink in, that you can try a variety of subjects and approaches, and at the end of the year you have at least 12 paintings to show for the learning that you’ve done.
Just a week ago I released Paint Along #22 in the Club series – I’m now working on the next three paintings – and I love doing it and sharing it.
I love the accessibility – I can jump on and do a painting whenever the mood strikes. And they can be painted within a reasonable amount of time which make it easier to fit in and makes you feel as though you are accomplishing. Plus your bright and encouraging teaching style Anna. It’s a delight to join in! DI, Club Member
I love your style of painting, I love your happy and encouraging personality! You have opened the door to the world of creating art to me, in a fun and not too demanding way. I am never reluctant to try a new piece because you have a way of walking me through it that makes it fun, even though I am not an artist, just a beginner who loves to work with colour. BECKY, Club Member
100% love it! It is so joyous & satisfying & mostly relaxing 😁, once I’ve let go of the high expectations I put on myself. RHYL, Club Member
As the Club has grown, and the lovelies that have been with me from the beginning are sharing more, we’re growing up and renaming as the SHINY HAPPY ART CLUB.
From January 2021 I will be including my demonstration collection videos in the Club (ie. free to Club Members). These have been $22-44 each month and while some people have sketched along with everything in the collection, others have chosen, and enjoyed sketching, their favourites!
All paintings up to #24 (released January 2021) will have ‘lifetime access’ (for the life of the website). From then on they will be included and available while a membership subscription is current.
Of course, if you do want to keep a particular class, you can buy whichever ones you choose at a discounted price.
The way the class platform is set up, I will be able to add even more bonuses for members, and if that gets you wanting to sketch and paint more, because I give you more options and inspiration, well… that’s where the joy lives. It’s exciting!
So join me.
Here’s the link to sign up 🙂
So I can focus on all of you lovely members, I’ll be closing the doors of the Club for a while on 15 December. So tell your friends, get your paints out and ready… and let’s go!
It’s a Shiny Happy Art Card – and the hashtag I gave to my July/August 2020 Facebook Live project!
I painted all 54 playing cards in a jumbo deck, in acrylic, with flowers, birds, cups and landscapes. It was a painting a day (ish) and I had a lovely group of regulars who’d join me on facebook for these live sessions.
Initially, I thought it’d be a nice intro for people who wanted to learn more about acrylics, but as it went on I realised I had so much to share… so I just kept on talking! As a result, I covered colour mixing, composition, references, artists I’m influenced by, brush skills, the properties of acrylics… really, I had a LOT to share with you!
You can find the entire collection, complete with finished photos, links and reference pics here.